Recommendations are the best form of marketing and they make your life easier too!
Marketing can be a time consuming, costly, and frustrating task, especially if done incorrectly.
There are many different marketing strategies to consider, but by far the best strategy is recommendations.
Recommendations basically means you do not have to do much marketing at all as you will have people coming to you for your coaching services.
So, how do you adopt a recommendation strategy to drive clients to you
Unfortunately, its going to take some work to get to that point. You don’t “choose” to have a recommendation strategy. It will come when you become the go-to expert in your field.
I’ll write that again…
When YOU become the go-to EXPERT in your FIELD
This means there’s work to do and, for now, you will have to adopt some marketing strategies to help you become that go-to expert.
Don’t worry, I help new coaches like you understand digital marketing so you can implement it easier with less frustrations into your coaching business.
The point I want to touch on in this article is being the expert in your field.
What this means is you are well known as a coach for a particular niche.
I know many coaches who have found success because they are known for a particular thing.
- Mindset coach
- Money coach
- Passive income coach
- Social media coach
- Career coach
I could go on… but these successful people aren’t just a coach, they are a coach on very specific topics.
Why does having a niche matter to coaches?
Well, there’s multiple reasons why.
- When it comes to the ideal client
- When it comes to content writing
- When it comes to branding for your business
- When it comes to creating programmes
- When it comes to recommendations
- When it comes to charging more
1. Finding the ideal coaching client
One of the best things to do to help with marketing is to create an ideal client avatar.
What this basically means (and I’ll cover this more next week) is we make up a person who would be our ideal client.
To do this, we need to know a lot of information about this person, such as their key issues in life.
We also find out about their circles, their jobs, their family life, their income, their commitments, their hobbies, etc.
What this enables us to do is to get a much deeper understanding of this person and why that key issue is preventing them from moving forward to achieve their goals and dreams.
If you are a generic coach and you go through this process, you’ll have a bunch of clients with all sorts of different key issues needing all sorts of different solutions in all sorts of different ways.
How do you offer services that can help all these people?
Are you going to develop coaching programmes, freebies and content that appeal to all these people?
How are you going to establish yourself as an expert if you’re trying to cover a range of different topics?
If you cannot delve into a topic deeply, you’re only going to be able to have a small effect on a clients transformation, which may take them longer to achieve and really doesn’t give you and your coaching business any form of expertise.
Put short, you’re not going to be able to help everyone!
Which is why it’s important to choose a single ideal client you’d like to help on one key topic.
Imagine sports coaches.
A sports coach could work with a variety of different sports with a generic overview of fitness, nutrition, and training. They could be employed by the local football team, the local gymnastics club, etc.
Can you imagine that sports coach helping someone win gold medals at the Olympics?
If someone was aiming at a very high standard in gymnastics and hoping to win Olympic medals, they’d be looking for the best gymnastics coach, or even better, employing coaches for specific gymnastic events, such as a vault coach or a parallel bars coach.
Imagine a football team. Your local Saturday league team may have a football coach, but a top rate premiership football club would have very specific coaches, such as goal keeper coaches.
Niche coaches are able to get deeper into the subject and are able to get better results for the specific clients they want to work with.
2. Content writing
At the start of your coaching business journey, you’ll be spending quite a bit of time writing content for marketing purposes.
You may not like or want to do that, but unfortunately, it’s not something you can really avoid.
You can outsource it, but you’ll still need an outline to send to your copywriter.
The content you write (or which will be written for you) will end up in various places, from social media posts, about sections, descriptions of your business, website pages, blog posts, adverts, etc, etc…
Let’s take a look at some examples of content used on social media posts.
“What issues do you have in your life right now that you need help with? Contact me to arrange a complimentary 1:1 coaching session to help you eliminate your issues.”
“How did you sleep last night? Did you lie there looking into the darkness again? Did your mind swirl with thoughts and ideas preventing sleep? Are you dreading the day ahead? If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, come and grab my free guide to better sleep which gives you 5 top tips to getting a better nights sleep or contact me to arrange a complimentary 1:1 coaching session to narrow down what is keeping you awake at night.”
Now, let’s say I’m scrolling through social media, possibly in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep! Which piece of content am I really going to take more notice of? Which one would I click on to see who that coach is and find out more about them? Which one would I consider more of an expert in their field?
I think you’d agree, the second post.
It’s directly talking to me about a real and current issue I have, rather than a generic post about generic issues.
Also, let’s imagine the content used on your website.
If it’s very generic and not on a specific subject, you won’t be utilising keywords that people will be using when searching for solutions to their issues.
Let me give you a real quick overview of search engines.
Firstly, people don’t search for “sleep coaches” or “money coaches” and to be honest, a majority of people still don’t really know what a coach is or how coaching could benefit them.
People search for questions, EG “how can I sleep better at night?” or “how can I earn more money?”
As a coach with a website, you will have keyword utilised in your content which basically tells Google and other search engines what you do.
Google will analyse those key words with other words that are related to the same subject so when someone does a search, it presents relevant website to the viewer.
Wouldn’t you like your website to show up to people asking for help?
Well, people will ask for help on a specific topic and you must have the right content available to show up.
If you’re a generic coach, you won’t have the right keywords in place. You won’t show up on searches. Or, you could create tons of pages on various topics to have some keywords, but Google will not be able to understand your topic and you’ll not be showing up again.
For example, a sleep coach will have multiple pages that use keywords all related to sleep, like snooze, rest, awake, bed, dream, etc. Google will know from all these pages and keywords that this website is related to sleep.
Someone looking for help with sleep is more likely to see the sleep coaches website than the generic coaches website.
A money coach will have pages and keywords all related to money, like finances, investment, savings, interest, budgeting, etc. Google will know from these pages and keywords that this website is related to money.
Someone looking for help with money is more likely to see the money coaches website than the generic coaches website.
I think you see my point with content writing.
Branding will play a large part of your online business and its marketing.
From the logo you have, the colours you use and the images you use to portray your services.
It all helps to tell a story and give people an instant judgement about what you do and who you serve.
When it comes to branding, there is a lot to consider. A good graphic designer knows what colours will portray a certain emotion and what shapes help to connect ideas in a viewers head.
But don’t worry too much about that for now…
Think mainly about the colours you use and the images you will use in your online material, whether that’s on your website, on social media posts or in emails.
As a coach with a niche, the colours, design and images used will help portray the message you are aiming to get across.
If you are a career coach, for example, you may use very professional images of people in suits. You may use colours like navy/dark blue and use a very simple layout to your designs rather than free flowing designs.
If you are a female empowerment coach, you may use casual and happy images of women having fun, relaxing and the colours you may use could be pastel, soft colours. Your layout would be more free flowing.
Along with the content used, these all help show what you do and help you to stand out.
If you’re a generic coach, how do you utilise design, colours, images, and layouts?
It’s not possible to appeal to everyone with your generic branding, and so, people will not come to you purely based on your visual branding.
4. Creating Programmes
On your journey to becoming a expert coach in your field and being able to charge premium prices for 1:1 coaching clients, you’re going to encounter people who:
- Repeatedly have the same issues
- Cannot afford your 1:1 price
Which is where coaching Programmes, Courses and Masterclasses come into play.
You’ll have services that can help the clients on their journey to becoming a coachable client, whether its those who repeatedly have the same problems or a lower price service for those who cannot afford your 1:1 coaching.
Your programmes and courses will help people on their way and educate them to becoming a better coaching client, as well as saving you from having to continuously deliver the same services over and over again.
So, what will you develop coaching programmes and courses on?
If you’re a niche coach, you’ll know exactly what you’ll be able to do. You’ll know what the continuous issues are, and you’ll know how to get clients through those issues through a programme, quickly and easily.
If you’re a generic coach, what programmes and courses will you provide?
You cannot provide courses on absolutely everything. You don’t know everything and without digging deeper into everything, your “everything” courses will only skim the surface, meaning minimal results for clients.
OK, now were getting to the bit where we want to be! A flood of clients coming your way through recommendations.
Not a lot of people really understand what coaching is (which is why your clients need educating first) and very rarely will they seek out a coach first to solve their needs.
Coaching is often discovered by one of three methods:
- Finding coaches articles that offer results based on the issues they are experiencing and actively searching solutions for.
- People in your network know you as a niche coach and even if they don’t know what coaching is, they instinctively know the subject you work on. So, when they see someone in their network looking for a solution on that subject, they can refer you to them.
- Referrals from people who have experienced your coaching and know friends, family or people within their network looking for similar results.
As mentioned already in the content section, when people are using search engines to find solutions to their issues, your content will match the search terms enabling you to offer your coaching services as a solution. This is one way people can get started with coaching and get started with you, not another coach.
Another way is through referrals from others. There’s been plenty of times where I’ve found people who specialise in a certain niche and when people are looking for services within those niches, the people offering those services spring to mind. Whether that’s coaching or not and whether I’ve used them myself or not.
This is the best form of recommendation marketing because you’re not just getting recommendations from people you have worked with, but you’re truly becoming known as the go-to coach for that niche and more people from your networks are referring clients to you.
6. Charging more
I think most of the reasons above will give you clarity of how you can charge more for your coaching services.
The more demand for your services (from recommendations and referrals) then the more you are able to charge for your 1:1 coaching sessions or programmes.
The more success you can demonstrate (from deeper understanding and results of your niche) the more you can charge.
With any business, specialists are always able to charge more for their services as they know the subject so much deeper than non-specialists.
And this is how more established coaches are able to charge more for their 1:1 sessions… they become specialists in their niche.
If you’re new to coaching, you may struggle to really know what niche to serve.
You may have an idea, you may have multiple niches you want to serve, you may have no idea!
Many businesses go through this (including mine!) where you want to serve everyone, then understand how important niching is, the struggle to settle on a particular niche.
Explore where your skills currently lie. What are you good at? What skills have you learnt through previous careers and life experiences? These are all good starting points to choosing a niche.
Then go and experiment. Get on calls with people who match the niches you want to test. How does it feel talking about those subjects? Are you confident to talk about it? Does it inspire you to dig deeper into those topics? Can you see what the transition would look like for clients within those niches?
Once you’ve found a niche… then its time to dig deeper and niche more!
You may find a particular subject you really want to focus on. Now ask yourself, “who?”
You may find you prefer talking to a specific gender of client about that topic or it may be a topic that is only really suited to a specific gender.
Age range may be more specific too if your topic helps people in transitions at certain times of their lives.
As a new coach, don’t be afraid to experiment to find your niche. Now is the best time to do it rather than later after you’ve spent so much time on a wrong niche.
Starting with a new niche would almost be like starting over from scratch.
Not wanting to limit yourself?
Niching doesn’t mean limiting yourself and turning away clients who don’t match that niche.
Let’s imagine you’re a career coach for mums, because that’s where you have experience in the past and that’s who you can ideally help.
If a male contacts you who is a primary carer of his child, would you turn him away for coaching?
Of course not. You can certainly help him too as many of your tools, although targeted at women, would certainly help him out with his situation too.
Niching is about attracting the ideal client and other people will follow along who are close to being an ideal client.
The closer to an ideal client they are, the better the results they will get from your programmes. But that doesn’t mean that absolutely everyone has to be an ideal client.
Niching helps you to market your coaching business to get more clients your way.
As you grow, get more results and start to become the go-to expert, you’ll get more and more ideal clients reaching out to you which helps you on that continuous journey of better results becoming even more well known for your coaching niche.