The 5 Reasons People Don’t Hire A Life Coach (and what to do about them)

For new life coaches, it’s sometimes tricky to get a handle on why clients aren’t rushing to hire them.

They take coach training, put up a website, open a social media account or two, and wait for the phone to ring.

It doesn’t.

Nor does the email drop in the inbox.

And if that’s you, you know how frustrating and demoralizing it can be.

You may wonder if the lack of clients is because the coaching industry is saturated?

Or, perhaps COVID-19 is meaning that people are no longer hiring coaches?

Or, could it be that you just haven’t built up a big enough following yet?

They are reasons.

However, they aren’t the reasons

If they were, then every coach would be struggling, including me.

That isn’t the case

If you are unable to attract coaching clients then there are five problems with either your website copy or in your interactions online with potential clients.

Or, more likely a combination of five problems.

man with money in hand

1. People Don’t Hire A Life Coach Because It’s Too Expensive

If I offered to sell you an ice-cold bottle of water for $100, would you want to buy it?

Probably not.

Now imagine you have been lost in a hot desert for 2 days without water, do you want it?

Of course you do, you’d probably sell your kids for it.

Suddenly that water has taken on massive value.

Millions of people who can afford and would benefit from working with a coach never hire one.

Why is that I wonder?

It’s because nobody has ever clearly demonstrated the value to them.

Nobody hires me because they like giving money to bald, ageing, limeys with a dodgy sense of humour.

Rather, they hire me because they believe I can help them build their practice.

There is a value to that for any struggling coach.

If you cannot demonstrate value to your potential clients, then it doesn’t matter what else you do, they won’t hire you.

Price is nothing, value is everything.

pocket watch in sand

2. They Don’t Have Enough Time

People are busy.

And people put more value on their time than they do yours.

A lot more.

You know, and I know, that as coaches we can often save people time by cutting through the noise.

That we often restore order.

But they don’t necessarily understand that.

They often think they need to assign another hour or more per week to an already busy calendar.

If your sales copy doesn’t address this concern, then the people who are idly browsing will idly browse elsewhere.

It doesn’t matter what type of coach you are, there is almost certainly an angle of how you can save your clients time.

A health coach can save clients time because the renewed energy and focus will help them be more productive.

A stress coach can save clients time by helping them lower stress, improve sleep quality and allow them to get up earlier each morning.

And I can save coaches a shit load of time by helping them navigate all the pitfalls that most new coaches fall into.

Note: This cat can also be skinned by offering such massive value that all of a sudden they’re prepared to drop other things because they now see you as being more important.

broken machine

3. They Think Coaching Doesn’t Work

Most people don’t understand what life coaching is.

I’m sure you’ve heard people say things like:

“I don’t need somebody to tell me how to live my life”

Or, “Coaches are just therapists without the training”

I was dumb enough to try and educate people like that in my early days.

I’d explain that coaching isn’t about advising people. That in fact, it’s the antithesis of that.

And that there are many highly-skilled coaches who have had significant training and are making a positive difference in people’s lives.

Needless to say, it didn’t work.

It’s incredibly difficult to convince people you’re a good coach by telling them you’re a good coach.

On the other hand, it’s very easy for other people to do it for you.

If I told you my restaurant was the best in Orlando, you’d pay little attention.

On the other hand, if I told you I had just eaten the best meal of my life in downtown Orlando your ears would prick up and I’d have your attention.

Unless you want to do discovery calls – which I don’t recommend – the single best way you can show proof of concept is through testimonials.

And the best testimonials you can get are video testimonials, followed by ones using a photo and a full name.

Any others are close to worthless and having none at all (unless you are a therapist and cannot legally share them) will have potential clients suspicious.

Case studies can work equally as well, or better. I used these when I was a life coach a few times with great results.

women flexing biceps

4. I Can Coach Myself

If I threw a penny into a jar every time I heard this I’d break my back trying to carry it to the bank.

There’s nothing wrong with people coaching themselves.

In fact, they absolutely should because we cannot be with our clients 24/7.

Nonetheless, it’s nothing like as effective as being coached.

And the reason is, none of us can see our own blind spots.


Because they’re fucking blind spots!

This isn’t the same as the person who thinks life coaching doesn’t work.

These are people who already see the value of coaching but don’t quite understand it.

A bit like gymgoers not seeing the value of hiring a personal trainer.

I used to write a lot about cognitive biases for my life coaching site at A Daring Adventure.

I did this because not only do I find them fascinating and I want to expose my own, but because it’s an interesting way of subtly educating people that they need a coach.


5. They’re Not Sure They Can Trust You

There are a lot of coaches talking utter bollocks all over the Internet

Don’t be one of them.

Don’t pretend your life is perfect.

Don’t run crappy webinars that offer no value.

And don’t make outlandish claims such as NLP can reverse blindness and the law of attraction can cure cancer.

And yes, rather remarkably, I have seen both of those claims made on Twitter.

Instead, be the coach who writes quality informative articles.

Be the coach who spends her time helping others on social media.

And be the coach who runs a webinar that actually adds value.

If people can see that, first and foremost, you are looking to help others, they will trust you and are exponentially more likely to hire you.

If you can meet all of the above objections that potential clients may have about you head-on and dispel them, then you are well on your way to becoming a hugely successful coach.

BTW, there is one other objection that I left off the list because it’s not really about the coach. What do you think it is?

I’d love to hear your comments below.

9 thoughts on “The 5 Reasons People Don’t Hire A Life Coach (and what to do about them)”

  1. Another reason is people don’t even think about their problem could be coached.
    They don’t think about because for them a coach is something alien,
    because they never met one and their friends also don’t have coaching experience.

  2. Perhaps it’s because of fear of change. I’m reading “The Ordeal of Change” by Eric Hoffer. He states that no one really likes the new, we are afraid of it.

    I love this quote by Hoffer, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”
    Best to you,
    Laurie Hansen

  3. I really love the way you write!
    You make me laugh out loud and for that, I thank you!
    It is delightfully refreshing to read something written by someone who doesn’t bow down to the Gods of Woke!
    I also thank you for sharing your insight into the weird and wonderful world of coaching!

  4. Hello! I am currently being “life coached” right now and have also worked for a Fuctional MD who kinda approached her patients with that scheme in mind. A lot of what I heard and am hearing is wasteful and useless information. Sure, it’s nice to have all the things we already know, reiterated in ways that are to be instrumental, but if you’re not there to hold someone’s hand, most likely the client will fall through. Even though it is all addressed as a team effort, it feels like it is just a more personalized shuffle and it feels like a waste of money when I can find alllllllllllll of the things I’ve heard and am currently hearing, online. Life coaches are advertised as glamorous jobs, but good luck, because most people are A. not willing to do their part B. feel like there should be more involved considering the heavy price C. feels silly when there’s so much info. online. I am not trying to be mean, I just wish less people would think this career is a great step towards freeing themselves from the 9-5 grind. You will be grinding HARDER if you want to maintain a clientele and the second you care less, well, that’s the second your client cares a LOT less than you do.

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