Joanna Lott Coaching

How to get clients without social media

a blackboard with social media in white chalk and an x through it. social icons

Grow your coaching business without social media

I know that many of you want to sell to organizations or may have a reluctance to use social media, so let’s explore five effective ways you can grow your coaching business without relying heavily on social platforms.

1. Leveraging Your Personal Network

a group of coaches sitting around a table

This strategy was really successful for me when I started my business, and I’ve seen it work for some of my clients, too. People can be resistant to leveraging their personal network, as we often fear what family and friends might think more than strangers’ opinions.

When I ask my clients if they’ve clearly explained what they do to their family and friends, the answer is always no. That’s the first thing I encourage people to do when they start working with me (after getting clarity on their niche and offer).

I provide them with a template to make it easier to explain what they do to their loved ones. It’s so worth it because everything you want is usually on the other side of fear.

Every step you take builds courage, which builds your business. You’ll become stronger by taking steps that initially seem daunting, encouraging you to take even more steps, ultimately growing your business.

Reflect on Your Fears Consider what you’re afraid of that could significantly impact your business growth. Is there someone who once invited you to get in touch when you set up your business, but you haven’t contacted them yet?

When talking to people, remember that sharing your personal story is much more powerful than just listing your services. People want to know why you’re doing this and why it matters to you.

Check on Your Niche

a white note pad with the words niche market

This might sound like something only those starting out need to do, but everyone should regularly review their niche, as it can constantly evolve in line with your interests and the market demands.

Invest in Your Relationships Relationships grow your business. Put the other person at the heart of your message. Of course, there’ll be an element of needing their help or support, but you need to think about how you can help them first.

The most successful networkers I know are thoughtful. I met someone several years ago who somehow got my number. He sends me WhatsApp messages with PDFs of ICF coaching studies and other relevant content regularly. He must have a system for thinking about what each person in his network is interested in and following up on it accordingly.

Because he often sends me useful information, he’s frequently at the forefront of my mind. When someone needed a coach in India, I instantly thought of him and put them in touch, getting him an associate role set up. This exemplifies how effective it can be to strategically keep in touch with people – you’ll be the one they think of when an opportunity arises in your area of expertise.

2. Speaking Engagements and Workshops

a woman speaking at a workshop in a room of people

Nothing beats the power of face-to-face interaction, whether you’re physically present or online. Speaking at an event is much more powerful for building your know, like, and trust factors than social media alone.

One of my clients, Sara, is a real inspiration. She has reached £100k in her business with no social media activity at all. She did it through BNI (Business Network International), the world’s largest business networking and referral organization with over 7,000 chapters in 60 countries and more than 170,000 members worldwide.

Sara went all-in on networking through BNI, did a tremendous amount of it consistently, and got really well-known for her expertise in her niche.

Talking at Other People’s Groups Something I’ve been doing recently, which I’m asking myself why I haven’t prioritized before, is talking at other people’s groups, associations or organizations in my niche.

I’m about to talk at a coach training organization about niching and how to get clients, and I recently spoke to an NLP training organization on a similar topic.

At every event I’ve been a speaker, I’ve had around a 60% conversion rate from people who contacted me afterward to explore working together further, which is incredible.

Speaking at events really accelerates the ‘Know. Like. Trust’ journey, giving people an excellent opportunity to quickly get to know you, as opposed to social media where you could have thousands of followers but only a few might message you or comment on your posts.

Think about where you can go to speak, ideally in person but online works too, to truly connect with people in a meaningful way – it will be much more effective for actually converting interested prospects than social media posts alone.

3. Strategic Partnerships

a blue sky with a green signpost and the words strategic partnership

How can you pair up with people or businesses whose network might include your ideal clients? You could offer to do a guest webinar or talk for their group, or agree on a 10% referral fee if they send clients your way and vice versa.

For example, the copywriter who wrote my website recently went full-time self-employed after previously doing copywriting jobs on the side while being employed.

I invited him to do a talk for my group, and it turned out he is also an entertaining magician! He included magic tricks in his presentation, which was amazing.

I was so impressed and excited by the engaging experience he provided that I immediately messaged all the mastermind groups I’m in, telling them about him and his availability as a guest speaker.

He’s now got so many new clients from all the paid speaking opportunities I’ve referred him for – it’s been a brilliant return on his investment of time and talent.

Where can you get the opportunity to speak in front of your ideal prospective clients through strategic partnerships?

4. Content Marketing

a keyboard sitting on a table with some content media icons and the words content marketing in blue text

You can create valuable content to attract your ideal clients without using social media at all. You can write blogs, articles, ebooks, run webinars or masterclasses, host a podcast, or publish long-form videos on YouTube.

All of these long-form content formats allow you to establish your thought leadership and attract clients who resonate with your message. They are deep, nurturing relationship-building activities that hit the spot much more effectively than the fleeting nature of social media posts.

Social media can have a supporting role, but it is typically short-form ‘shallow’ content that gets drowned out quickly in most people’s feeds.

Go Deep With Content

You need a deep nurture strategy through quality long-form content for people to truly get to know you, understand how you can help them, and be motivated to work with you. I really don’t think you can build a successful coaching business without leveraging content marketing in this way.

People often say to me that they can’t understand why they’re not getting any new client inquiries despite posting regular short-form content on social media.

They’re not seeing results because snippet style social media posts alone do not deepen the ‘Know. Like. Trust.’ relationship effectively or lead people up the value ladder to being ready to purchase. Social media activity is probably not even getting them one small step up towards a sale.

It’s also worth noting that while social media content disappears in feeds within 24-48 hours typically, long-form content like YouTube videos, podcast episodes, and website blogs remain easily accessible indefinitely as a resource to attract new prospects.

A lot of my clients target organizations. In addition to shorter social content, they are creating professional whitepapers, industry reports and guest expert webinars. They are also conducting interviews with thought leaders as part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy.

5. Email marketing

a woman's hands holding a black ipad with a pink screen and the words newsletter

As I teach in my Business of Coaching programme, your email list is a direct line to your network and your audience.

When you are launching something, your email list is going to be a receptive, warm audience. I know that inviting my email list to join my 5 Day Challenge will get a great response. They have taken that bigger action. They’re more committed to what you’re doing.

Unlike your social media relationship with people, your email list of people have put their hand up and chosen to be part of your network.

They’ve filled in a landing page. They’ve chosen to receive your content.

However, you do need to have a way of building your email list. Social media is an effective way to do this. But so are other forms of networking, like attending or hosting events where people can get to know you. This will hopefully lead them to your website. Therefore, make sure your lead magnet for people to sign up to your list is highly visible on your website home page.

And, in case you don’t know, a lead magnet is a valuable piece of free information. For example, a pdf packed with content targeted specifically towards a problem that they have, with a quick, easy way for you to help them to fix it.

If you can help them solve that one small problem, they’ll be building their trust in you helping them to solve bigger problems going forward.

Another option is to choose to pay to build your email list, either through Facebook ads, or through buying an email list. What you’ll be paying for with money, will save you paying for in time – your most valuable resource.

Currently, my two main ways of growing my audience are by posting regularly on LinkedIn and running Facebook ads. If you however want to steer clear of social media, then hosting events is an amazing way of growing your list. By doing this, you will be building that ‘Know. Like. Trust.’ relationship.

Throughout the week, I will be taking people through the steps they need to turn their expertise into a leveraged model. This will be by creating an online course or group coaching programme.

Holding events like this is a brilliant way to build your list. Mine has grown massively through advertising this 5 Day Challenge.

Let me know how you’re going to grow your business without social media!

Prefer Audio?

You can also listen to all my new content on my podcast Women in the Coaching Arena

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you grow your coaching business:

  1. Love coaching, but struggling to get clients? Download the 12 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Clients now.
  2. Interested to know more about the Business of Coaching programme? Click here.

Hi, I’m Jo, and I’d love to help you on your coaching journey

I spent 20 years in corporate HR but faced challenges balancing work and family. Refusing to settle, I ventured into coaching, seeking financial success aligned with my values. Overcoming limiting beliefs, I developed strategies to attract clients, leading to the creation of my Reliable Results Path. Now, I support coaches in achieving their goals through my Business of Coaching program. My values of honesty, personalization, and courage guide me, fostering a community of impactful coaches who believe in inclusivity and making a difference. More about me




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Hello and welcome! I’m Joanna Lott, and I’m passionate about empowering qualified coaches like you to build brilliant businesses.