How I Got My First ClientMar 01, 2022
Getting your first client is huge—it's a massive milestone in any coaching business. In this episode I share the story of how I got my first client...at a point in my life when I thought that starting my own business was still 5-10 years down the road.
Today, I want to share the story of how I got my first-ever client, and how that really catapulted me into the rest of my business. I have built my business helping high-impact coaches attract their dream clients, but that success didn't come out of nowhere. In fact, it was really only several years ago that I was working a “normal” job. I was convinced that if I wanted to make more money, I had to get a raise, a promotion, or just flat out find another job. And to be honest, my stomach really turned at the idea of spending my entire career chasing the next promotion, ultimately leaving my financial future up to an employer, to someone else who, at the end of the day, has their best interests at heart, not mine. I knew I had to do something, so I told myself that in five or 10 years, I wanted to have my own business, and that seemed reasonable. After all, at that point, five to 10 years down the road seem pretty far into the future.
It was at that time that I started consuming a lot of books about starting your business, starting your side business, all kinds of stuff. I was really asking myself the question “What's my passion? What's my business?” I kept asking myself, closing my eyes, and really hoping that a genius idea would just kind of appear from thin air. I'm really good at marketing, I thought to myself, and I enjoy it a lot, but that's such a saturated space, such a saturated industry, there's no way I could be successful doing that, because there are millions of other people doing that.
So I continued to go about my daily life, knowing that I needed to start up a little side hustle, so that I'd be positioned to go all-in on it full time in the next few years. Maybe one night a week, I would spend a couple hours sitting on my sofa, trying to force out the perfect business idea, but it felt like I was running around in circles. I kept coming back to something in the realm of marketing, and then saying to myself again and again, “No, it's too saturated. There's no space for me there.”
Then one day, I was talking with my friend Brian, who said, out of the blue, “You know, I know you're busy, and I know you have a lot going on, but my husband Gareth really needs some help with his marketing. Is that something you might at all be interested in?” I said, “Yeah, of course.” I thought this could be a great way to get some extra cash on the side, something to keep me occupied on evenings and weekends—but as the beginning of a business, that didn't ever occur to me at that point.
By the time I got home that afternoon, I already had an email from Gareth, whom I had only ever really encountered briefly. Up until that point, I didn't know what work he was doing, what his business was even around, but he told me a little bit about what he was doing, as I read this email, and told me a little bit about where he was needing help. But my eyes focused on one thing in particular, which is how much he was willing to pay for this. He said, “I'm envisioning this will be around $500 to $1,000 each month, depending on the workload, of course.” The 21 year old that I was, making just under $3,500 each month before taxes, couldn't believe it. An extra $1000 or even $500 a month was massive. That's my monthly rent, I thought, as I began counting all the ways that that extra cash would start to impact my life. But looking back, what really came up there was the realization of “Yeah, it actually would be possible to make a living building my own business,” and “Yeah, I could actually make my own space in this big, scary, saturated world of marketing.”
Then one day in February, a couple of months after working together, after we'd started making some really great progress revamping his online presence and implementing new strategies for growing his email list, Gareth and Brian took me out to dinner after a late afternoon meeting we had had in his house. As we ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant, we kind of chatted about the usual things that came up in our conversations together, stuff like what movies we'd seen recently. Towards the end of the dinner, Gareth set his fork down and said, “Well, how's your work going, your other work, that job with the fitness company you're working with?” I said, “Oh, you know, it's going alright, I guess,” and Gareth looked at me, and he said, “Tell me more,” which is his favorite phrase when he knows that there's something lying under the surface, something more than just “It's going alright.”
“Well, it's going great,” I clarified. “But I've been taking on a couple other clients as well, spending my evenings and weekends getting something of a side hustle going.” I was a little bit nervous to let on that I was working with other clients, because this was my first-ever client, and I didn't know what to expect. Was he going to get jealous or something? I had no clue how he would react. But he said, “That's fantastic,” and he asked me if I thought I might want to do this type of thing full time. I said, “Yeah,” and that was the first time I had ever really verbalized it. I started smiling. I said, “Yeah, I think I do.” When I said that, I was so relieved to see and hear that encouragement from him. That look that told me I had his full entire support.
Looking back, I know that I was really lucky to get my first-ever client so easily, almost to the point where it just fell into my lap, and lucky that my first few clients that I had were similar, and that they just kind of showed up out of nowhere. I didn't really have to put in a lot of effort to find them or to attract them, and really, that was the start that I needed, just getting that first client, because once I did that, then things started to slowly fit into place. From there, they continue to evolve to the point that I'm at today. It's been this beautiful organic growth that any entrepreneur can experience and create, as long as they're holding themselves open to possibility and seeing where the ride takes them.
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