Signing up new coaching clients is probably the number one thing on your mind right now. 

Am I right?

If you want to start expanding your business by helping others advance in their careers and become better versions of themselves, you’ll have to start working on your word of mouth and referrals. 

Referrals are a simple, easy, and stress-free way of gaining traction in your industry.

By encouraging happy clients to refer you to their friends, colleagues, and family members, you’ll be able to get more clients through the door with a lot less effort than trying to drum up new business yourself. 

But how do you even get referrals? Do you just go up to a client and ask them ‘please refer me’ and hope for the best? I mean, you could do this, but it probably won’t be that effective. 

Instead, try out some of our tips to get more referrals for your business. We’ll show you the right way to start getting referrals and more clients through the door. 

Where to look for referrals for a coaching business

You might think the only way to get a referral for your business is from a happy, satisfied client, but there are a few other ways you can get high-quality referrals to consider. 

For example:

  • Referrals from other coaches outside of your niche who think you’re better suited to their client.
  • Referrals from businesses who work with the same customer base you do – they might refer them to you if they think they need a bit of coaching.
  • Referrals from industry groups you’re in on Facebook or LinkedIn. 
  • Referrals from events that you’ve been a guest speaker at. 
  • And, of course, there are always referrals from satisfied clients who want to recommend you to their friends.

The brilliance of referrals is that they’re basically a form of free marketing. People just need to know who you are and like what you do. There’s no need for any fancy or expensive marketing campaigns. 

Having good referral partners in your field, like industry leaders, can help referrals quickly become your number one way of securing clients.

But how can you encourage people to refer you? How can you run your coaching business so you’re the kind of company that people want to refer to others?

How can you get these mystical things called referrals?

By being prepared. Next time you’re pitching your services to a potential referral partner or to a group full of industry experts, make sure to highlight all the ways you make your clients’ lives better. How you make the industry better. What makes you great at what you do. 

Chances are, you set up your business because you freaking love what you do – let that shine through! People refer people they like. 

Here are five ways to make sure anybody considering your coaching services will refer you to their friends or colleagues in need of some career or business coaching. 

Make sure you meet their requirements

If you’re in an industry group on Facebook and you see somebody post that they’ve got a friend or a colleague looking for a career or business coach, you might jump at the chance to throw your hat in the ring.  

When replying to these posts, make you read everything as carefully as possible to ensure that:

  • You’re the right person for the job 
  • You can deliver everything they’re looking for
  • You meet all the requirements

Always provide potential referral partners with every single piece of the requested information upfront. If it’s a public post, a lot of other potential clients will see what you post. If you forget any info you’ll end up looking pretty unprofessional in front of everyone. Plus, the person looking for help will have to reach out to you for more details which could just waste time. 

So, if they see another career coach posting everything they need to know, they’ll probably choose to refer them over you out of sheer convenience. 

Show them why you’re the perfect choice – and make it memorable

When potential referral partners are looking for coaches to refer, they want to immediately see why they should refer you. They’re looking for what makes you unique and what skills you have that make you better than anybody else. 

So, when you’re showing off your stuff, make sure you:

  • Show them how you can help
  • Explain what makes you unique
  • Give them an example of your work 
  • Tell them why you do what you do 

Keep it concise, make it memorable. 

Update your website

Whether you’re getting a referral from a partner or a client, your website is first on their visit list. 

It takes 0.05 seconds for somebody to form an opinion of you based on your website so it’s important that everything is perfect for your referral partners. They’ll want to see testimonials, high-quality content, evocative imagery, and a brand voice that fills them with confidence. 

So, to make sure your referral isn’t going anywhere, make sure your website is perfect, including: 

  • A user-friendly design
  • High-quality content that speaks to your niche
  • Clear details of who you help and why you help them 
  • Lots of testimonials, case studies, and reviews from past clients 
  • Professional imagery and a trustworthy brand voice 
  • Easy to find, up-to-date contact information

You should also check and make sure your website can be accessed using mobile devices. This is a basic requirement as 61% of users won’t come back to a website if they had trouble accessing it on a mobile device. 

If you don’t have a website yet and are just starting out, or you like to DIY it, check out Strikingly. This is a great website builder for beginners with some beautiful templates and easy to use interface.

And if you are ready to level up your website, get in contact with us to discuss your option.

Build a referral program 

Your coaching services might be enough to get clients to refer your business to friends and family, but if not, you can always rely on a referral program. 

Referral programs are a fantastic way to get referrals through the door and keep your current clients feeling loved. 

What is a referral program?

A referral program is a way of getting your current clients to recommend your business to their friends, colleagues, and families by offering them a small reward. 

Now, a referral program doesn’t have to be detailed. You can even set up an email series to send out to your clients, reminding them of the superb coaching services you offer. This will keep you in their thoughts when they think, ‘Oh, I need a careers coach.’ 

But, one of the best ways to get people to refer you – including industry colleagues – is to offer a referral fee of about 15%. 

This means that if their referral is successful and you get a paying client out of it, they get some money back. Either they get paid for the referral, or you give them a reduction on their fee next time they book in with you. 

Be proactive, build referral relationships

If you don’t want to sit around and wait for referrals to come to you, or for clients to finally give in and pass your name on to somebody else, then start building referrals proactively. 

This means finding industry leaders, colleagues, like-minded individuals, and even other coaches and sending them emails asking for referrals. 

Write up an email that politely introduces yourself and describes all the amazing things you could do for your clients or friends. 

When composing your referral emails, include:

  • A brief introduction of who you are and why you’re reaching out – don’t make it too long, or they won’t read it
  • The benefits you can provide them will refer clients to them in return
  • Make it easy for them to say yes or no – don’t leave it open-ended
  • Be sincere and show them you’ve done your research by tailoring the email to them – learn about their business and what they do

If you put in the effort, they’ll see that you’re worth the time and may even grace you with a reply. 

Even if they say no, you’ve planted your brand name in their mind. So, in the future, if they see somebody looking for a career coach, your name might just be the first on their lips. 

We hope you’ve got plenty of helpful tips to get more referrals through your door! If you have any questions about getting more high-quality referrals for your coaching business we’d love to hear from you. 

Get in touch with our team today to talk about how you can start your referral program and improve your coaching business. 

Want some help optimizing your website for referrals? 

Need a bit of guidance writing those emails to your potential referral partners?

Get in touch today – we’d be happy to help!

About the author