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Mastery Series: Mike Blissett - considering coaching as a career? How to Grow your Coaching Business


Public speaking is a great way to market and grow your coaching business. Having the ability to speak to groups of people will position you as a leader, a person of authority in your niche.

It can also create a steady flow of people into your business, whether as subscribers to your newsletter, followers of your social media, or ultimately paying clients.

But how do you do that? Where do you start, and what are the steps you’ll need to take to include public speaking as part of your marketing and attract people into your coaching business? 

As part of our Mastery Series, specialist coach and public speaking trainer, Mike Blissett is sharing his 10 top tips to help develop a speaker marketing strategy. This strategy is designed to help you, 1. Book places to speak, and 2. Begin the process of attracting potential clients into your marketing system.

1. Create your talk

Talks are generally between 30-45 minutes, though obviously can be shorter or longer. It’s a really good idea to stay close to your area of expertise, one that’s closely aligned with your coaching niche or program, and also talk about a specific issue or problem your audience has, rather than being too general and vague. To give you an example, a talk I’ve been giving over the past year has been called ‘How To Research and Create An Online Course That Adds Revenue To Your Speaker Business...Even Before You’ve Built It’ (long title, I know)! In the talk, I share the step-by-step process I used to create my first online course, Speak Like A Pro Online (my area of expertise). People who have listened to my talk can then sign up for a copy of the slides, list of resources and sign up to my mailing list if they want to. Some then go on to buy my online program, book coaching, or ask me to speak or train in their company. 

2. Design a ‘one-sheet’

In the world of public speaking, a ‘one-sheet’ is a single-page resume of who you are and what you talk about (often delivered nowadays as a pdf). The most effective one-sheets are usually short; one page, single-sided, regular font! Your one-sheet should ideally contain:

  • Name at the top of the page.
  • Title of your talk.
  • Benefits. 3-5 bullet points covering the main takeaways (remember, benefits-driven statements, less is more, keep them short).
  • Testimonials. 2-3 - can be from people who have seen you speak or clients who have also coached with you and found the process powerful. Again; short and succinct.
  • Photos. 2-3 good quality pics, either showing you speaking or at least looking professional (possibly the headshot you use for your website or LinkedIn profile).
  • Contact details; phone/email/website (MOST IMPORTANT)!

3. Find your market

The most successful coaches that use public speaking to grow their coaching business are the ones that get specific. They decide their area of expertise, own their territory, and go deep when exploring how else they can add value in their talks, blog posts, videos, etc. A niche can be industry-related (e.g. lawyers, accountants, engineering etc.) or subject related (e.g. career, confidence, conflict resolution), or a combination of both. Getting clear on your niche will give you clarity as to what types of groups and organisations you will get in touch with and promote your talk to.

4. Include speaking as part of your marketing plan

It’s important that speaking and being able to offer a talk is viewed as part of whatever else you do to market your business. Whether you have a newsletter, record YouTube videos, post on LinkedIn, make sure your messaging is aligned. In my business, my YouTube videos talk about all aspects of public speaking and how you can use it to grow your business, as does my newsletter, LinkedIn posts and other social media…and it’s also what I talk about when I speak to groups.

5. Create a list

Begin to create a list of potential groups or organisations in your target audience that you’d like to speak at. As with when you signed your first practice coaching clients, begin with the people you know and who know you. Ask them for recommendations, whether you want to speak to a sports club, a networking event, association meeting or organisation conference, your friends and colleagues collectively know more people than you, so ask them! You can also find many opportunities by researching and reaching out on the internet, including social media. The benefit of having a list is that you’ll be more effective and successful in your marketing, rather than trying to keep it all in your head. However, it’s important to add that if you plan to add people to a database or online mailing list you will need to be GDPR compliant (another topic for another day)!

6. Website page

Whilst I wouldn’t suggest you create a separate speaker website, I would suggest you create a page to feature it as part of your marketing. To facilitate this, some coaches have a ‘speaking’ tab on the navigation bar on their website (including me)! Your speaker page can include everything from your one sheet (including a link to download pdf version). Your webpage is also where you’ll have space to share even more, but remember, still aim to keep your page short and succinct. 

7. Designated email

This is not a ‘must-have’ but maybe a ‘would be nice’ tip. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with using a generic Gmail, Hotmail etc address as a coach, the perception will always be better if you can use one connected to your own domain, for example, you@yourcoachingpractice(dot)com, the perception will be more businesslike. Therefore, if you have that, then you could also get more specific, for example, coach@… or even (for your speaking) speaker@… As I mentioned, this is not an essential step, but sometimes in business these small, seemingly insignificant steps can make a difference in attracting the results you want.

8. Showcases 

Many groups and associations offer ‘showcases’ as a way to find new and engaging speakers.  The format is usually a mini, maybe 5-10 minute version of your talk, and is designed to give them an impression of who you are and whether what you talk about would be useful and interesting for their group or company. Some showcases allow you to offer audience hand-outs, which are usually something of value that you’ve spoken about, for example, ‘the wheel of…(your niche)’ You could also offer a number of free coaching taster sessions (or whatever you call them) as a way to attract new potential clients.

9. Panels 

As a person of authority that speaks about their niche (expert subject), you can also offer your public speaking by letting people know you’re available for interviews, discussion panels, and even online guest sessions on webinars, podcasts and online training. Very often at the end of an event there could be an interview, which from an audiences point of view is a different dynamic and gives them more opportunity to experience you. 

10. The big picture

One of my favourite coaching questions is, ‘for what reason?’ It can help a client get really clear on their stated outcome. It can also help you get really clear on what you want public speaking to help you achieve in your business. Grow your mailing list, attract social media followers, get testimonials, sell an online course, offer a taster session, training, further speaker bookings, etc.… So, get clear. As with everything in coaching, by setting yourself up to succeed, you’re more likely to (you know the rest). Focus. Know your territory. Be really clear how you want public speaking to help you grow your coaching business.

If you would like to learn more about Coaching, join our free two-day Foundation in Life Coaching course. Dates here