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15: Using my signature 5 Step F.O.C.U.S. Method to Get Your First Clients

by | Dec 27, 2021 | Podcast

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Today I’m walking you through the 5 step method I used to get my first clients and it’s what I teach my own clients who are just getting started!

It’s perfect for getting your first clients or any time you need to quickly grow your paying client roster!

The 5-step method is called F.O.C.U.S. and it looks like this:




Make sure that you are officially set up to operate as a business, legally and financially. (**Please note: This is not legal of financial advice because I’m not a lawyer or an accountant)


What this step includes is making sure that in the eyes of your city, county, state, etc that you are legally authorized to be in business. Where I am, this requires a business license – filling out a form and submitting it to the county and paying a yearly fee.

To get this license, it means your business has an official business name. Choose a name that is clear about what you do. Something like: “<Your Last Name> Wellness/Fitness/Health” is clear and to the point. You are the coach, what you provide is help with health, wellness, and or fitness.



Legal note: You may choose to create an LLC before you take on any clients. I didn’t, I waited until I was further along in the process because an LLC is not a requirement to be in business.



I operated as a sole proprietor at first, got a Tax ID from the IRS.

Financially, you want to make sure you are keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances with a separate bank account and later on a separate business credit card for future expenditures. You’ll need your EIN from the IRS for this business account, which you can get online.


You’ll also want a way to track your business expenses as you go, trust me, you will thank yourself at tax time for keeping it organized from day 1! You can use something basic like a Google sheet or excel spreadsheet.

You’ll need to set up a way to take payment that is separate from your personal Paypal or Venmo account if you have one. I use Stripe and have been very happy with it.


Now before you take any payment from clients you’ll want to make sure you are covered in a worst case scenario by having insurance, waivers for clients to sign, and/or client agreement forms.

These will look different based on what type of a business you are running so I always recommend checking with the organization that provided your certification to see if they have standard forms or templates to use and then having a lawyer review your client documents to make sure they’re going to cover you legally.


(Notice i didn’t say build a fancy website, spend hundreds of dollars – or hours- creating a logo, spending money you haven’t made yet on business cards, or any of the stuff that really is not going to directly impact you getting clients!)

I have seen way too many coaches get hung up on, and spend days/weeks/months in the busy-work of websites and business cards before they’ve even gotten a client. Foundation step is all about setting your business up as an official entity and setting up an organized way to manage clients and your cash.


Step 2: OFFER

Outline who you help, how you help, and how long you’ll be working together during this 30-Day Jumpstart.

Keep this **super** simple. I know a lot of coaching organizations tell their grads to offer a 3 month program and a 6 month program but when you’re starting out, that can be a hard sell for both you and your clients.


Offer a 30-day jumpstart to get your feet wet, add a few bucks to your bank account, and gain a TON of clarity and confidence in yourself as a coach.


Your goal at Level 1 is to get a handful of clients to work with you for the minimum amount of time needed for them to make some progress, see results, and be excited enough about what’s happening that they want to tell others about their experience working with you.

Once you have a handful of testimonials, you can change your offer but for this method, offer a 30-day jumpstart for a specific outcome that you feel passionate about helping people achieve. Quitting smoking, getting active, eating healthier, having more energy, feeling less stressed… anything!


When you are starting this can be really hard. You’re a health coach – you can help anyone! But what you’re going to find out if you haven’t already is that a specific offer and outcome is going to make it a lot easier for clients to see the value of what you do.

I won’t get too deep in the weeds here about niching down but just know that if you can put together something specific that a potential client can visualize themselves achieving and this particular change would be meaningful in their life, it’s going to be a lot easier to get clients to say YES to a 30-day sprint than a 6-month marathon.


Remember, this offer isn’t forever, it’s just for RIGHT NOW. it’s going to change, and it should! But the purpose of this offer statement is to help you get your first 3-5 clients so that you can get experience, gain confidence, get clarity, have impact, and make some money! Otherwise this is just a pricey hobby, right?


Here’s a sample FOCUS offer: “I’m looking for 5 busy moms who are looking to have more energy in 30 days so they can keep up with their kids and not collapse on the couch at bedtime. Who’s in?”



Create your offer by stating a specific number of client slots you want to fill, a specific demographic and something that you know they’d really love to achieve and a set number of days in which you can help them see those results.


Step 3: COLLECT NO’s

One of the best things you can do early in your business is desensitize yourself to hearing the word NO. Your job when you pitch your services isn’t to sign a client, but to get them to make a decision.


Sometimes that decision is not to work with you and that’s ok. (I promise that most of the time, it is not personal!)

You’re looking for potential clients who fit the bill: they are a specific demographic, in a certain age range, who want the outcome you’re offering, and are ready to show up, invest the funds, time and energy to make some lifestyle changes in the next 30 days.

That’s kind of a tall order and not everyone you ask is going to check all of those boxes. That’s ok.


Think of ‘No’ as ‘Not Now’ or ‘that’s not me’ and it’s easier to see that their NO has very little to do with you.


It could also be you haven’t done enough to gain their trust yet – either they don’t know you as a coach, a person, or someone who gets results and they’re not willing to extend the trust just yet.

That’s also ok.


I’ve worked with hundreds of coaches starting their business and the thing I see impacting their lack of clients is being too passive in making offers.


They fail to make themselves, their business, or their offer visible to potential clients. They either assume that people know what they do and will reach out if they want help (NOPE!) or think an occasional post on FB is seen by (and remembered by!) their entire friend’s list and they don’t want to be annoying so they fail to share this info often on social media (Definitely not true!). Or they automatically assume that the people they know are not interested in the specifics of the offer, can’t afford it, or wouldn’t want to work with us.


What we do using the FOCUS method is Actively Collect Rejection. We reach out to anyone that fits the criteria of the offer and let them tell US no. We don’t count anyone out, we stay out of their pockets, we don’t decide for them if they’re ready for change.


So make a list of 50 contacts in your personal network – friends, neighbors, FB contacts and we reach out with the offer.


If they say no, great! You’re one step closer to the 5 who will say yes! (don’t forget to ask them if they’d be willing to pass on the information to anyone they know who might be a great fit!) If they say Yes, you have a new client!

*You can also share this in your Facebook Group if you have one!




I know I did the exact opposite of this when I was starting out and it’s a big mistake!


You book a client and promise them the moon and stars – why yes….you CAN offer 24/7 support …and video content… and ebooks and everything they want… till you find out that logistically and energetically, that doesn’t align with how you really want to run your business or you simply can’t deliver and then it can be really disheartening and disappointing for you and the client.


A much better option is to offer the basics that will get your client results – coaching sessions, email support, and worksheets… and then surprise and delight them with extras throughout the program.


This makes for a much better client experience and they’re more likely to stay engaged with your coaching, get results, and provide you with a solid gold testimony!


Social proof is such an amazing and important sales tool. The more testimonials you collect and share, the easier it is to get more clients. I have personally seen this in my own business – at some point, the results speak for themselves.

Here’s the deal… your business is based on sales, and sales are based on TRUST.

If someone trusts you, they’re more likely to hire you.

If they don’t trust you, they’re not buying.

Simple as that.



But how do you gain trust? It needs to be built.

Cultivated… developed.


Trust is created one interaction at a time… it but it’s a lot easier (and faster!) to ‘borrow’ trust than it is to build it from scratch.

When you’re first starting out, your *Circle of Trust* (those that know you, like you, and trust you enough to hire you) is pretty much your direct personal network, plus your Facebook friends. (I’m referring to your personal account where you have friends, not your business page where you get likes and follows!)


This is why we start with this list when we’re collecting No’s with our FOCUS offer!

When happy clients provide testimonials that you can then share with other potential clients, you’re demonstrating that you’ve been trusted by others and then delivered results.


There’s a lot behind the psychology of testimonials – you’ve probably experienced it yourself if you’ve ever shopped online -you check out the reviews of products before you buy and can be convinced to buy or not buy based on what total strangers have said.


Now imagine how much more powerful a testimonial is when it’s provided by someone your potential client can relate to and it demonstrates how you were pivotal in the process.


Testimonials allow you to leverage the trust you’ve already built to create trust in potential clients.

To recap:
  • FOUNDATION – Cross your t’s, dot your I’d officially, legally, and financially to set yourself up for success and protect yourself.
  • OFFER – Create a short term offer with a specific outcome that’s limited to a set number of clients. Use urgency, specificity, and scarcity to encourage people to take action!
  • COLLECT NO’s – You can’t wait for clients to knock your door down and beg you to work with them. Put your offer in front at least 50 people in your direct, personal network (they trust you the most right now!) and let them decide if this is for them.
  • UNDERPROMISE & OVERDELIVER – Surprise your clients with bonus features and delight them with extras they weren’t expecting.
  • SOCIAL PROOF – Document the kind words and amazing results of your 30-day bootcamp and use those testimonials going forward to grow your business. Let the words of happy clients be the proof that others need to sign up for your services!
I used this method to generate $1k in my business after trying (and failing!) to get up and running for months! I’ve been using this with my clients and they are always shocked by how easy it is to get clients when they just ASK!

Laurie Mallon

Podcast Host

Creator of  The Profitable Health Coach Framework

Data Privacy Specialist

Web Designer & Conversion Strategist