The Biggest Mistake Coaches and Therapists Make

5 Essential Steps to Sell Your Services for Coaches and Therapists

5 Essential Steps to Sell Your Services for Coaches and Therapists

5 Essential Steps to Successfully Sell Your Services as a Coach or Therapist

Coaches and therapists often find it challenging to promote their businesses, whether we are talking about selling coaching or therapy sessions.

Ironically, the very same empathy and understanding that make them great in their profession can sometimes make it difficult for them to market and sell coaching or therapy services.

So, what’s the biggest mistake they make?

They focus too much on their skills instead of addressing the client’s problem. Coaching clients, and therapy clients, for that matter, rarely, if ever, are looking for someone’s credentials or certifications. More often than not, they look for referrals, and feedback from past coaching clients, especially from paying clients.

And that is the main reason they don’t have enough clients or the type of clients they want. Does that resonate with you?

Your diplomas don’t matter

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In this article, I will examine this critical issue and offer practical solutions.

The first instinct of most coaches and therapists when promoting their business is to highlight their qualifications, experience, and skills.

However, this approach often overlooks what potential clients truly care about: finding solutions to their problems.

Potential coaching clients are less interested in your qualifications than you might think.

They are primarily concerned with whether or not you can help them overcome their issues.

A strategy that focuses too heavily on showcasing skills and qualifications rather than addressing potential clients’ problems can alienate rather than attract clients. Really, this is more of a beginner’s approach rather than that of a skilled professional.

If you have to convince the client you are good by boasting your certificates, you might get the opposite reaction than the one you were looking for. Nobody likes to be convinced; everyone likes to choose. Nobody likes to be sold; everyone likes to buy.

Talk about their problem, not your solution

I have been running courses and programs for more than ten years, and I was fortunate enough and privileged enough to be host to many great teachers in the world of NLP and Hypnosis.

For the biggest part of this time, I always used to advertise the method or technique rather than what that technique or program was good for.

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That was great for a very limited number of people, only those who already knew what I was talking about. But what about the rest? What about those who could benefit from that teaching but had no idea it could help them?

I was doing them a disservice. And if my goal was to help as many people as possible (which it was), I failed miserably.

The Google Way

Google’s success relies exclusively on providing people the best answer to their search, in the fastest way and best way possible. Sometimes this can be an article, but other times it can be an image or a video. Emulate this and you will always have success, because there will always be people with problems to be solved.

Think about it this way: how would you choose your doctor, plumber, or mechanic if they would only talk about the tools or methods they use to help their clients?

It would be pretty tough… if not even impossible.

As a coach or therapist, your primary role is to aid your clients in overcoming their obstacles. This requires a deep understanding of the problem at hand.

Focusing solely on your skills can create a gap in understanding, which may ultimately hinder the success of your therapy or coaching sessions. This is also true when you promote your programs and services.

While it’s essential to be competent and skilled in your field, overemphasizing a skill, method, or technique can overshadow the real issue – the client’s problem. And that is why you will struggle to have clients.

When the spotlight is on your skills, clients may feel unheard and unvalued, affecting the effectiveness of your sessions. Even more so, some will immediately feel insulted and dislike you simply because they don’t understand what you are talking about. Nobody likes to be made feel stupid.

Let’s say your car breaks down, and you need help because your car won’t start anymore. You search on Google and see ads, videos, images, and articles about using the 12-inch wrench or about the “cross-over-the-top-wire with double string knot.” How does that help you?

None of those search results would talk about starting your car. At the very best, that would be mentioned in a footnote somewhere.

That is why Google will always promote content that solves problems and answers people’s questions. Be like Google.

It took me years to get out of my specialist head and into the client’s head and speak on his terms rather than mine.

The most important question you need to ask yourself whenever you want to promote anything, whether it is a course, coaching services, coaching packages, coaching programs, or anything in between, is: what’s in it for the end user?

What’s in it for me?

We all ask this question unconsciously whenever we purchase, invest in something, or… simply do nothing.

You may ask this question in different ways, but ultimately, the principle stays the same.

Here are a few other variants of this question:

– Why should I do this?

– Is this worth my time/money?

– (How) Will this help me?

– Will this work for me?

– Will this solve my problem?

– How will this solve my problem?

– Will this be more effort/investment than my problem is worth?

Solve the Client’s Problem

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In coaching and in therapy, the power lies in problem-solving – addressing and overcoming the client’s issues.

This can only be achieved when focusing on the prospective client’s problem rather than your professional skills.

This holds true, no matter what you do, whether it is consulting services, therapy, coaching services such as life coaching or group coaching, spiritual coaching or high ticket coaching or one to one coaching.

Effective problem-solving, just as effective marketing, begins with understanding the client’s needs and values. Then, start applying your skills and knowledge to help the client overcome their challenges.

From Therapy to Marketing

You already do this in your coaching and therapy sessions. The client comes to you and tells you what their problem is so you can help them achieve the desired outcome.

Your regular process as a life coach or therapist would be:

– client intake – finding out about the history of the client and getting clear on the desired result

– identifying their values and beliefs so you can help them in their map of the world, not yours

– sketching a game plan to help them achieve their goal

– start applying the game plan using different methods and techniques in your “toolbox.”

– apply – verify – iterate until you achieve the result

Now, start doing the same when you promote your services.

Niching down to Scale up

To have a successful business, you need to follow these five steps:

Step 1 – Identify the problem you want to solve or help with

Step 2 – Identify the people who have the problem

Step 3 – Identify how they talk about it

Step 4 – Talk about their problem

Step 5 – Offer your solution

This is a business model for any coaching niche and coaching service or therapy practice.

Step 1 – Identify the problem you want to solve or help with

This is also referred to as niching down or specializing in something. In short, you chose a coaching niche and started providing valuable advice. Maybe you want to help people in their personal development or professional development. Maybe you prefer individual coaching instead of group coaching or want to create a mastermind group. Whatever it is, you need to clarify what you want to help people with.

Why do it? Because you want to be top of mind when someone is looking for a solution. If you have a health issue, you will look for the best specialist, not a general physician. You and the rest of the world.

The same rule applies here, of course.

Therefore, the questions you need to ask yourself and have a clear answer to is:

What problems or types of problems do I want to work with?

If I could help people with only one thing, what would that be?

If I were to do this for the rest of my life, what problem would I most like to help people with?

Attention: The question is not about what you know; it is not about what you can do but about what you like!

Step 2 – Identify the people who have the problem

In marketing terms, this would be your target audience. The key word here is the target, as opposed to “anyone.” Who would be your dream clients or ideal clients for your coaching session?

Why is this important?

Just like in step 1, this is about who you would like to work with. Would you prefer to work with kids, adolescents, adults, or elders? Define your coaching niche, not just in terms of problems you want to help people with, but also in terms of demographics. Your potential client might be very different from your actual clientele.

Would you like to work with people who pay through their insurance, with a credit card or cash? Would you like to work with regular employees, entrepreneurs, or CEOs?

You need to define your audience to know how to talk to them.

Here is an example: Say you want to sell your weight loss program. You will present this differently, depending on who you are talking to, right? I sure hope so!

You would have a different message for CEOs over sixty than for single moms under thirty or plumbers at forty.

Step 3 – Identify how they talk about it

Now that you have defined what you want to help people with and who you want to help, it is time to dig deep and understand your audience.

When they read your content, they want to see that you understand their struggles and have the means to help them.

You may be fluent in therapeutic jargon, but remember that your clients might not be.

Using too much industry-specific language can be intimidating or confusing.

Speak in terms they understand and address their concerns directly.

Always aim to convey your message in simple, relatable terms so that even the most unskilled person would understand.

The clearer and simpler your message, the more effective it will resonate with the reader or viewer.

The more complicated and complex your message, the more confused the outcome.

Talk as if with a ten-year-old child.

Keep in mind, simple does not mean easy. Quite the contrary!

Be like Einstein

If you can not explain it in simple terms, it means you don’t understand it well enough. The simpler you can make your message, the more clients you will be able to attract.

Find out what your target audience likes and dislikes, what they do or don’t do, and how they talk about the problem.

Why? Because the way they talk about the problem is the way they feel about the problem. And if you use those particular words, expressions, and metaphors, they will know and feel that you understand them. And people trust those who understand them. And people will invest in those they trust. And if you follow these guidelines, that someone will be you.

Step 4 – Talk about their problem

You are now one step closer to helping more people because you are very clear on who you are helping and what you are helping them with, and you also speak “their language.”

When we shift the spotlight from the self to the client, we step into a realm of effective communication that resonates more with potential clients.

This client-centered approach will indeed involve discussing your skills and experience, but it does so in the context of benefiting the client.

It is not about merely stating that you are certified in a specific therapy type, but explaining how this certification allows you to guide the client on their journey to wellness.

Show empathy in your content, and let your clients know you understand their struggles.

By doing so, you’ll form a far more compelling connection than a list of qualifications.

Share your message

Considering all these criteria, it is time to share and communicate with the world.

You can do this through videos, articles, comments on social media, and emails.

Identify their pain points and provide valuable content and start creating videos, articles, social media posts, webinars, or e-books, lead magnets, and landing pages. Create content that makes people remember you and make them come back for more. One of the best ways is to create a comprehensive guide about you or your coaching packages, your online courses, or your coaching services.

All of these are very effective ways to demonstrate your expertise and provide value to prospective clients.

This is how you let the world know that you know their pain, and they will feel understood by you.

The more you consistently speak on one topic, to one crowd, in their terms, the more they will identify you as a leader, an expert.

You will now be top of mind for them when it comes to that particular aspect or problem, and you will be the first they will come to or refer their friends or family to.

Step 5 – Offer the solution

If you start today, it would probably take you a couple of months of constant communication to become top of mind for people on a certain topic.

Do this, more or less every day for at least 6 months or a year, and you will have gained a very clear position in people’s minds.

Constantly talk about the problem and its different aspects and variants and show the world you know what you are talking about.

Provide value, and you will never have to sell

Rather than tweeting your own horn about your solution or service, make sure you always provide value. Mention your course or product every now and then, and then go back to providing value.

One way to attract new clients is to provide value upfront. This could be in the form of free advice, insightful blog posts, or resources.

The more value you provide for free, the more valuable your product and service become in people’s minds.

By doing so, you’ll position yourself as an expert and build trust with your potential client.

And the best way to sell is to show, not tell. Rather than telling people to buy your program or service, show them the results your clients got with you.

Tell your story

People are natural storytellers and story listeners.

By weaving your skills and experiences into a narrative, you create a compelling picture that a potential client can identify with.

Social proof can be a powerful tool in promoting your business and attracting more clients.

By sharing success stories and testimonials, you give potential clients a glimpse of the transformation they could experience.

And if you are just starting out and don’t yet have any clients, you can mention case studies from others.

Call to Action

Most coaches choke at this point.

This can be due to a lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, no trust in their product or service, and anything in between.

Most people will enjoy your posts, your emails, and your videos. Most will be uplifted and inspired by them, and they will happily share. Most will tell you how great you are and how much your content helped them. And yet most, will probably not buy unless you tell them to.

Because most people like and need to be told what to do, even if it stares them in the face.

Tell people what to do

You need to tell people what to do if you want them to do something. Do not assume or presume that they will do it. You need to tell them in clear terms and give them easy to follow instructions.

The more clear and simple you are in your communication, the better results you will get.

“Click here,” “Buy now,” Download the guide,” are all excellent calls to action. Look at the calls to action you can use in a Facebook ad. They are all very simple, to the point, and very short!

And this applies even more so when it comes to your Call to Action (CTA).

People like clarity, and they like instructions.

The more “special” or “subtle” you will make your call to action, the less likely people will click on them.

There is even a saying in the marketing world “Ugly sells.” Therefore, don’t make it fancy, make it easy!

Give them a clear call to action, and they will most likely follow.

Do not shy away from telling people to join your coaching services or purchase your coaching packages or coaching programs. You have offered them valuable content. Now it is time to let them know about your coaching sessions, whether business coaching, online coaching business, well being coaching, or personal relationships.

How to ask and what to offer?

For any coach, there is an evolution of services.

They initially start with one on one coaching sessions, and, as their confidence, knowledge, and expertise grow, they evolve into offering coaching packages, and coaching programs, and eventually, they end up having high ticket clients.

And to do this, you need time, experience, market research, marketing skills, a sales page, email marketing, a sales script and more.

We all have to start somewhere, but, we all have to start! And the sooner you do so, the better off you are. Do not wait to be “perfect” at something to start. Simply start doing and, the more you grow, the more you will realize things you never thought possible.

Build your portfolio of coaching packages, and digital products and spend time with your current clients as well as new clients both in private sessions as well as through your public interactions.

All top coaches have been a new coach at some point in their careers. Continue to provide indisputable value through your coaching programs and coaching packages. You are selling coaching only to those who find value in your offer and in your communication.


Now you know what is the biggest mistake coaches and therapists make and you also know what are the 5 essential steps to successfully promote your services, products or programs.

Apply them, enjoy the benefits, and let me know your results!

That is my Call to Action to you!

Make sure to share this article with your colleagues, and peers so it can also help them as well. My motto is Learn Grow Share and the more people we can help, the better.

Marketing a coaching or therapy business goes beyond touting qualifications and experience. The most effective promotional strategies focus on understanding and addressing the client’s problem and not by talking about your method or skills.

By demonstrating empathy, providing value, communicating clearly, and guiding potential clients toward the next step, you can effectively promote your business and make a lasting impact on potential clients.

Remember, the essence of your profession lies not in how skilled you are but in how much change you can facilitate in your clients’ lives.

Ultimately, it’s not about how great you are, but how great your clients can become.

Marketing and Business Success Summit

Marketing and Business Success Summit Speakers

If you are serious about taking your business to the next level, if you want to grow your business, help more people, and make more money, then you would be very interested to learn about the Marketing and Business Success Summit.

This is the only event in the world specially created for coaches and therapists, where you can learn from some of the best marketing gurus today.

You will learn about the best practices in email marketing, how to drive more sales, how to use organic traffic, landing pages, how to have effective sales conversations, how to create your high ticket coaching program, how to use video, how to get your ideal clients, how to use automation, chatbots, AI and more!

And you can access all of these amazing presentations for free. They will help you with your online coaching business and coaching programs.

Make sure to sign up and, when you do, in your welcome email, we will also provide a Playbook of the Summit. For free!


How did you enjoy this article?

What did I miss? What should have been said and I missed?

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